Saturday, April 23, 2005

Flying tomorrow for the MVP asian summit

Myself and all the rest of the local MVPs are flying to singapore for the MVP asian summit. This is the first time i am attending a MVP summit and cannot wait to get there. I will follow up this post with my experiences at the summit after i return back. I doubt whether i will be posting anything for the next few days though

Passed SCJP 5.0 beta

Got to know i passed the sun certified java programmer for the 5.0 beta platform. The score sheet will be coming a bit late i guess so not sure on how much i scored. Thanks a million to all the folks at Javaranch.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

E-learning from Microsoft

Microsoft has launched an e-learning site allowing developers to learn new technologies in their own time and space. It's free and the first of the course on "Windows Server: Taking Advantage of 64-Bit Computing" is announced. Visit the following URL for more details

MCAP a new certification for architects

Microsoft is introducing a new architect certification named MCAP. Just looking at the descriptions it seems like more than just doing a few exams and obtaining the certification as it will have more rigorous testing.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Why certify?

Certifications are pursued by different professionals for different reasons. And there is always various arguments about the worthiness of certifications and what it achieves for an individual. So i just thought about doing a post on my point of view and whether it was useful.
For me doing a certification is motivating myself to prepare for something. For example when .NET came into the scenario i started to prepare for my MCSD on .NET since it was a very good way to make myself aware of all the nitty gritty details on .NET. I always viewed certifications as something that provides me the confidence and proves i have the minimum knowledge on using a particular technology or a product. But it isn't or never will be a replacement for experience. You have to view both as different aspects and view certifications as adding value to your experience.
So was certifications helpful to me. Yes a lot and it has motivated me enough to continue to keep myself upto date in the IT industry and technologies i am interested in.
Just my 2 cents...

Coding4Fun using .NET

If you are a hobbyist developer or someone who likes writing cool software for fun in your spare time check out the following site

Monday, April 18, 2005

SCJP 5.0 exam released

The Sun certified java programmer for the 5.0 version is released now. So anyone getting certified can target the new version
For full information go to the following URL

Blogmap: Neighblogs (blogs close to me)

Blogmap uses Microsoft map point to bring you the location of the blogger. It's used to display the map of my blog location in the side bar. Currently new apis are added and exposed through web services for you to do more cool things.
For example the following link displays all the blogs close to me with blogmaps
Blogs close to me

Visual Studio.NET 2005 beta 2 released

VS.NET 2005 beta 2 is released and is available to download for MSDN subscribers.
Check it out at
And if you are planning to create and deploy applications based on the .NET framework 2.0 / Visual Studio.NET 2005 beta 2 read the details about the go live license at the following URL

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Wishing all a happy sinhala tamil new year

Wishing everyone i know a very happy and peaceful new year. May all your dreams and wishes come true.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Commenting on blogs

Why should you leave comments on a blog you read?
Commenting on blogs is as powerful as blogging itself.
If you dont have a blog and are not planning to have one (I'd strongly encourage to create one though) but if you are a frequent reader of blogs then you can make a huge presense on the blogosphere as an ardent reader. So leaving comments is similar to blogging in making your presense felt on the blogosphere.
If you do have a blog and you make it a practice on reading a lot of blogs then your comments will help you and your blog get notified in the blogosphere. Those are the traces to people who still have no idea about your blog. This is pretty much like linking to a blog and ends up creating a very powerful huge network of blogs.

Sun Microsystem discounted exam voucher

Just got an exam voucher providing me 75% discount for any Sun Microsystem exam for participating in the Sun certified java programmer 5.0 beta exam. I wonder which exam i should use it for and at the moment either it's going to be the mobile application developer exam or the web component developer exam.
Then again the voucher expires next year so i have ample time to think over it

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Learning something new

The IT industry is always a rapidly changing one. What you have and know today might become totally irrelevant tomorrow. So there is always a need to either learn or understand a particular new tool or library. The best way to start learning a new technology, tool or library is to start small and slowly increment the features you want to learn.
One approach that is useful is to use test driven development as part of your learning process( test driven learning) cos it has the attributes "start small and slowly increment" fitted in naturally. For example if you expect the library you are experimenting to do something, then write a test for what you expect and then implement your code to see if what you assumed is correct. So in learning new .NET libraries you can use NUnit for your test driven learning purpose. This is much better and easier to manage than doing a sample application to understand a new library.

Getting the project directory structure right

Whenever you start a new project the first thing you do is get the project directory structure in place. Seperating out the libraries, the source folders, the bin folder and getting all the required libraries together in place everytime can be a pain.
You can try out TreeSurgeon from ThoughtWorks (the same guys who bring you Cruise Control) to set the directory structure for your projects.
This project is based on the article on "How to setup a .NET Development Tree"

April .NET user group meeting

Yesterday was the first wednesday of April and we had our .NET user group meeting yesterday. I did a presentation on the ever popular ORM library NHibernate . This is a direct port of the Hibernate library for java version 2.0.3. Though still in beta this is quite stable and has a lot of potential.
As i promised I am uploading the presentation as well as the sample code for anyone interested to download and try out. The sample application is just a small demo just to show the basics on NHibernate with all parts of the application inside one project. In a real project you should seperate the business logic the data access layer and the user interface. If you have any questions or comments on getting started with NHibernate just post a message on the dot net forum.
These are just a few of the links i mentioned about:
NHibernate query analyzer
NHibernate quick start guide
NHibernate forum posted questions in chm format

[Update] There is a review at Merill's Blog

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Cruise Control.NET 0.9 released

A new version of Cruise Control.NET the continuous integration server is released. You can download it at the ThoughtWorks URL below

Monday, April 04, 2005

Webcasts on SQL Server 2005

Howard informed about a few web casts on SQL Server 2005. Details as follows:

Discover how Microsoft SQL Server 2005 offers database developers the optimal combination of a tightly integrated development and data management platform. The rich and flexible programming environment in SQL Server 2005 allows you to leverage your existing skills and utilize familiar tools to build robust, secure, scalable applications.

Register today to learn how the integration of the ..NET Framework in SQL Server 2005 provides several major benefits, such as an enhanced programming model, enhanced safety and security, user defined types and aggregates, and a common development environment that integrates database development into the Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 development environment. In this series, we cover:

.NET Framework Integration: Learn how you can now take full advantage of the Microsoft .NET Framework class library and modern programming languages to implement functionality within the server.
Transact-SQL and Managed Code: Find out how to decide between using traditional Transact-SQL or a programming language that is compatible with the .NET Framework, such as Visual Basic .NET or C#. Understand where each method provides benefits and how to design for this in the beginning.
Web Services: See how to develop XML Web services in the database tier, making SQL Server an HTTP listener.
XML: SQL Server 2005 contains deep native support for XML. Learn how this can significantly help as you develop applications that make use of XML.
Data Access: Discover how ADO.NET 2.0 not only supports all of the new SQL Server 2005 features but also enables productivity and performance gains for all developers.
Register for the SQL Server 2005 webcast series to learn more.

Bonus: Attend a webcast in this MSDN series and complete an evaluation to receive the most current version of SQL Server 2005 Beta software on CD. Attend at least three MSDN webcasts in this SQL Server 2005 webcast series and submit evaluations and you will receive a SQL Server 2005 T-shirt*. And by attending a live webcast in this series and submitting an evaluation, you will qualify to win a Portable Media Center (official rules) pre-loaded with our best webcasts!

Registration link:

NUnit, debugging your test code

When using Test driven development for developing libraries, the code that you develop are usually accompanied by test code written to test your production code. So at times you might need to set breakpoints to debug the test code you write. The easiest way to do this is change the debugging option of your test project by setting the Debug Mode as "Program" and the Start Application to the NUnit GUI in the project configuration. So the next time you run your class library containing the test code in debug mode the NUnit GUI will be invoked. When the tests are run the code will break properly at the set breakpoints.
All this time i was attaching the debugger to the NUnit GUI process when i wanted to debug my test code but setting up the project configuration to invoke NUnit GUI seems like a better approach.

Friday, April 01, 2005

April 1st Specials from MSN and Google

Try out MSN Search Spoof to get some quite funny search results and once you are done with it drink the amazing Google gulp refreshing drinks